MENTORS by Russell Brand


How to Help and Be Helped
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The actor/comedian and former drug addict explains how mentors have helped him change his life.

Sex, drugs, fame, power—these are just some of the things Brand (Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, 2017, etc.) has been addicted to in his lifetime. In this meandering narrative, the author shares stories of who he was and how he changed via the help of various mentors at different stages in his life. Chip, himself a former drug addict, helped Brand get off drugs by showing him he needed to be honest, willing, and open-minded about life. He taught the author “that it is okay to talk about your feelings, more than okay, mandatory,” including feeling “vulnerable, inadequate, fearful and angry.” Meredith, an acupuncturist, took on the role of mother, nurturing Brand through the difficult details of his divorce. Jimmy identified Brand’s codependent relationships and helped him move beyond them, forcing him to re-evaluate what he took and what he provided in each of them. Each of the author’s mentors has assisted in his transformation from an angry, disillusioned person to the more well-rounded father and spiritual person he is today. “All of us live on a canyon wire between the person we used to be, the person we are ascending and the person we are aspiring to become,” writes the author. “Every day the pugilistic slog goes on for me….I’m back and forth between the kind and ideal me…and the ‘Venom’ version of myself, all fangs and inner eelish sinew, writhing.” After readers meet each of his guides, they will clearly understand how they have helped Brand, but it is debatable whether this knowledge, delivered in a rambling way throughout the text, will be enough to get readers to look for mentors of their own.

Circuitous stories of how advisers and role models have influenced and supported the changes in one man’s messy life.

Pub Date: April 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-22627-3
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019


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